Belligerent Babble on Bible and the Earth’s tilt
Posted on March 5th, 2014

By Shelton A. Gunaratne

 My hometown newspaper, The Forum of Fargo-Moohead, carried an unusual editorial (on Feb. 18, 2014) appreciating the change of seasons wrought by the Earth’s axial tilt of 23.4 degrees. Wisely, the editorial did not attribute this natural phenomenon to a creator God thereby leaving the readers to infer whatever they wished.
However, Christian propagandists in the area could not resist their temptation to disrupt the editorial’s neutrality by injecting a mischievous religious slant to the Earth’s tilt.
Ken Koehler, a religious educator in the area,  reacted to the editorial with a sermon titled “Knowledge of  Earth’s axial tilt set down in the Bible  by Creator” (The Forum, March 3,  20l4,  p. A9).
I immediately responded with the following letter to the editor (and am waiting to see whether the free press of America would accommodate my Buddhist point of view  as well):
“I resent and condemn the feeling of distress you inflicted  on thousands of your non-Christian  readers by publishing  a letter by Ken Koehler, a Christian propagandist, who apparently lives under the delusion of the Aristotelian  geocentric conception of the universe. Koehler should become aware of the astrophysicists’  contemporary view of the cosmos.
 “The modern view is that the universe comprises about 100 billion galaxies, each with billions of stars, great clouds of gas and dust, and perhaps scads of planets and moons and other little bits of cosmic flotsam. The stars produce an abundance of energy, from radio waves to X-rays, which streak across the universe at the speed of light.

“Where does the Bible refer to this view of the cosmos? Copernicus was  deemed a heretic for deviating from the orthodox theological view, which Koehler seems to back up by quoting from the Bible.

“The Forum editorial wisely refrained from connecting the Earth’s tilt to the omniscient, omnipresent Almighty God, who created all beings the way they turned out to be (the likes of  Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and the Rabbit) despite his foreknowledge of the mighty pitfalls of the endless greed he permitted man to possess by giving every being the illusion of a permanent soul.

“The absolute truth is sunyata””that nothing exists in the universe except a vast tangle of energy.  The conventional truth is that nothing in the universe is permanent, including the Earth’s tilt.”


[Gunaratne, professor of mass communications emeritus, lives in Moorhead, Minn., USA)

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